In France, in traditional society, preparing for the Christmas holiday meant wholesale housecleaning and the completion of household repairs and maintenance projects. The saying recommends:
A la saint Thomas
Cuit ton pain, lave tes draps
Tue un porc gras si tu l'as
Tu ne l'auras pas sitôt tué
Que Noël sera arrivé
In all regions on Christmas Eve, games, riddles, songs, stories and legends help to pass the hours until Midnight Mass
and the traditional meal.
In Provence, Alsace and Franche Comté, distinctive regional Christmas traditions have developed, such as living crèches and special markets.